Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Rob Swanson: the short bio

Rob Swanson - Bassist/ Composer/ Leader

BORN: 1967 in Wilmington, DE Playing Bass for over 25 years, Rob has made a name for himself as one of the most versatile working bassists in the Philly metro area. Tripling on Electric, Upright, and Vocals, Rob finds himself in up to 20 different musical configurations on any given month, ranging from straight ahead bebop, groove, world, and straight funk and rock. A graduate of the prestigious West Chester School of Music, Rob balances gigging with a bit of teaching to forward the muse that was passed onto him at an early age.  A Philadelphia Magazine "Best of Philly" Award Recipient, Rob plays regularly in the Mid-Atlantic region and can be seen in his supporting role with many of the area's top jazz musicians. Rob has shared the stage with The Wailers, Third World, Black Uhuru, Judy Mowat, Dennis Fortune, Rosella Clemmons-Washington, Siora, Lucky Thompson, Kelly Meashey, Marc Adler's Flute Choir, Vanesia, John Coley and To The Max, The Don Eaton Band, Dave Wilson, Klingon Klezmer featuring Hassan Jack Kessler, Tony Smith, Ron Thomas, Tom Palmer, Ellen Leibowitz, Matt Niess and the Capitol Bones, Shawn Qaissaunee, The Clifford Brown/Stan Getz All-Stars, The Duke Ellington Sacred Jazz Band, Tom Pontz, Kenny Gizmo Rogers, The Barbone Street Jazz Band, Barbara Montgomery, Connie Ranis, Cartoon Christmas Trio, Phyllis Chapell, Hoots and Hellmouth and an ever growing clientele.

VENUES PLAYED - a partial list

The Kimmel Center – Philadelphia, PA
Clifford Brown Jazz Festival- Wilmington, DE.
Berks Jazz Festival- Reading, PA
Gasteig Concert Hall – Munich, Germany
Cape May Jazz Festival- Cape May, NJ
Rehoboth Jazz Festival- Rehoboth Beach, DE
Gerald Veasley’s Jazz Base – Reading, PA
The World Café – Philadelphia, PA
West Chester University Jazz Festival – West Chester, PA
European World Music Festival, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
Chadds Ford Winery Jazz Festival- Chadds Ford, PA
Yellow Springs Jazz Festival- Kimberton, PA
SUNY – New York State
Elkins and Davis College – Elkins, WV
Turks Head Music Festival- West Chester, PA
Musikfest- Bethlehem, PA
Best of Philadelphia-Philadelphia Art Museum, PA
Hartefeld Jazz Festival- Avondale, PA
Chris' - Philadelphia, PA
Zanzibar Blue- Philadelphia, PA
Vincent's- West Chester, PA
CBGBs – New York City, NY
Bourbon Street Cafe- Wilmington, DE
Delaware Art Museum- Wilmington, DE
Franklin Institute- Philadelphia, PA
Penn's Landing- Philadelphia, PA
City Hall- Philadelphia, PA
Iron Hill- West Chester/ Media, PA
Deerpark Tavern-Newark, DE
Spence- West Chester, PA
The Allen Theater – Lebanon, PA
Seacrets- Ocean City, MD
Longs Park – Lancaster, PA
The Moshulu - Philadelphia, PA
Longwood Gardens - Kennett Square, PA
Manayunk Brewery - Manayunk, PA

The Usual Suspects

The following are the groups you can see Rob perform with regularly as a leader.

The Terra Soul Project (may be trio to sextet).

Rob's latest release, The Terra Soul Project, is a compilation of original works with world and improvisation being the cornerstones of this journey. It is brought to life by world class musicians that have played with Ray Charles, John Legend, Kieko Matsui, Othello Molineaux, Ernie Watts and countless others - this is a CD not to be missed for those fans of world inspired jazz.

There are several players that are involved in this project - here are a few of the regulars;

Drums and Percussion - Jimmy Coleman, Butch Reed, Aaron Walker. Larry Marshall, Ishmael Wilburn, Paul Jost

Keyboards - Jon Pruitt, Frank Strauss, Jeff Knoettner, Terry Klinefelter.

Guitar and other string things - Shawn Qaissaunee

Sax and woodwinds - Greg Riley, Ed Yellin, Anibal Rojas, Marc Adler

Trumpet - Tony Smith

Cartoon Christmas Trio

A great trio that performs music from your favorite Christmas Cartoons in a traditional jazz trio setting. This group also does educational outreach programs and introduces audiences to the medium of jazz through familiar musical themes. Jeff Knoettner - piano, Jackie Browne - drums.

The Rob Swanson Trio

A classic piano jazz trio that plays standards and Rob’s originals in a traditional instrumentation of upright bass, drums, and piano.

The Three - 0

Another trio setting but this one has vocals and many configurations - some are not even a threesome....oh man...here comes the therapy....anyway...sometimes ya just gotta sing some tunes....Beatles, Hendrix, REM, Bowie, Chilis, Bob,...pretty much anything we feel like playing. Usually some combination of Q, Jimmy C, Bob Castaldi, Paul Jost, Nelson Gilfillian, Tony Ventura...or someone else...